2014 – 2015 Good News!

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Windy City Romance Writers

Librarian of the Year:

This year we’re dedicating this award to Cathie Linz, author and librarian, good friend, and a treasure to us all.

Rita Nominees:
Best First Book
A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev
Kensington Publishing

Run to You by Clara Kensie
Harlequin, TEEN

Young Adult Romance
Run to You by Clara Kensie
Harlequin, TEEN

New Books, April 2014-April 2015 (more or less)

J. Leigh Bailey
Sold her first book, a Young Adult LGBT Romance called Guyliner to Spencer Hill Press. It will release in November 2015. She also signed a three-book deal for her New Adult LGBT Romance Series, Letting Go, to Carina Press. Nobody’s Hero releases April, 2015; Reckless Hope in August, 2015, and the third book, title and release date TBD. Her Young Adult LGBT romance MS, “Do-Gooder,” finalled in the Nola Stars Suzanna Contest.

Wendy Byrne
Has four books out: Hard to Kill, August, 2014, Hard to Trust, November, 2014, and Hard to Stop, March, 2015, all from Gemma Halliday Publishing. And, The Millionaire’s Deception, Entangled Publishing, February, 2015.

Mary Jo Burke
Has two books published: Cupid’s Busted Arrow, January 2015, The Wild Rose Press, and Spicing Up Trouble, February 2015, Gemma Halliday Publishing

Paul Calhoun
Married Rachel Revilla Calhoun on May 17, 2014. At Spring Fling nine agents or editors asked for submissions of “Chocolate Covered Potato Chips,” a contemporary romantic comedy.

Dyanne Davis
Published Frog Prince, in July 2014 through WD Publishing.

Sonali Dev
A Bollywood Affair, A Rita Nominee for Best First Book, won the ALA Reading List Award for best romance, was on Library Journal’s and NPR’s lists of Best Books of 2014, and is an RT Reviewer Choice Award nominee and winner of the RT Seal of Excellence. It was also on ‘Best Of’ lists on Kirkus Reviews, Smexy Books, Heroes and Heartbreakers, All About Romance, Book Riot and several independent blogs. Her second book, The Bollywood Bride, releases in September 2015 also from Kensington.

Cici Edward
Possession of the Heart, Book 1 in The Possession Series, came out in 2015, with three more to come in the series of contemporary ghost stories.

Kelly Garcia
Her Young Adult manuscript, “A is for Atherton,” finalled in the Get Your Stiletto in the Door contest, Contemporary Romance Writers Chapter of RWA, and in the Suzannah, NOLA Chapter RWA.

Blythe Gifford
The Witch Finder, Blythe’s self-published book, was named Book of the Month for February, 2015, by The Review.
Whispers at Court, the second of her Royal Wedding stories, will be released in June, 2015, by Harlequin Historical. The first book, Secrets at Court, was on Wendy the Super Librarian’s Honorable Mention list for Best of the Year (2014). She called it “one of the best done medievals I’ve read in a long time.”

Livia Grant
Signed her first publishing deal with Blushing Books in 2014 and had 3 full length erotic romance novels released in 2014: Wanting it All, Passion Series Book One, August, Securing it All, Passion Series Book Two, September, and Life’s Unexpected Gifts, Corbin’s Bend Series, in December.

Clara Kensie
The first book in her series, Run to You, finalled in two Rita categories: Young Adult Romance and Best First Book. The series was also named in RT Magazine Editor’s Picks – Best Books of 2014. The series was originally published in installments, and Harlequin Teen in May will compile it in two books with new titles: Deception So Deadly and Deception So Dark.

Vanessa M. Knight
Her first book, Second Time’s the Charm, a contemporary romance with suspense elements, was released in April 2014. The second in the Chicago’s Finest series, Stark Raving Mad, comes out this summer from MuseItUp Publishing.

Nicole Lieren
Nicole has signed a two-book contemporary-romance deal for her Heroes of the Night Series with Gemma Halliday Publishing. More than One Night will be out in the fall.

Cathie Linz writing as Cat Devon
Tall, Dark and Immortal in her Entity Series will be out in September 2015.

Noirin Leahy Mele
Her tale of Ireland, Dancing in the Heather, is available on Amazon.

Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Heroes Are My Weakness came out in August 2014.

Allie Pleiter
Allie had four books released: The Lawman’s Oklahoma Sweetheart, A Heart to Heal,Saved by the Fireman, and Small-Town Fireman. Two of her 2014 books, A Heart to Heal and Saved by the Fireman, received 4.5 stars and Top Picks from RT Magazine. She received the Readers Crown Award for The Fireman’s Homecoming and was a double finalist in the Love Inspired category of the RT Reviewers Choice Award. She also released her first independently published non-fiction: THE CHUNKY METHOD HANDBOOK: Your Step-by-Step Plan to WRITE THAT BOOK Even When Life Gets in the Way

India Powers
India will release Book 1 of her Mageblood Chronicles series, Demon’s Bane, through Three Hats Publishing, LLC. This book was her Golden Heart Final contender in 2013. The historical paranormal romance is expected in 2015.

Savannah Reynard
Stolen Child, Book 1 in her fantasy romance trilogy will be released in 2015 through Storyvixen Press LTD.

Elizabeth Rose
Was a finalist in the Florida Romance Writers’ Golden Palm Contest in the Young Adult category with her paranormal book, Mary, Mary, scheduled for an April release.
The Border Lords and Ladies boxed set made Amazon’s best seller’s list.
Liz has published six books in the Tarnished Saints’ Series and three in the Cowboys of the Old West Series. Her Western novellas have been in the Amazon Top 100 list (Western category). She is in the process of putting all her books into print, including the series, The Daughters of the Dagger; and MadManMacKeefe.
Her 40th book, The Gunslinger, was just released, and she has a new paranormal Gnarled Nursery Rhymes Series for young adults out this month.

Stephanie Scott
For her manuscript “Alternations,” Stephanie received the Heart of Denver RWA 2014 Molly Award First Place Winner, Young Adult category; and was a finalist in the Georgia RWA 2014 Maggie Unpublished contest, Young Adult category

Denise Swanson
Had three books published in the last year: Murder of a Needled Knitter, A Scumble River Mystery, from Penguin/NAL; Dying for a Cupcake, a Devereaux’s Dime Store Mystery, also from Penguin; and Good Girl Overboard, a Change of Heart series romance from Curtis Brown Unlimited.

Kathy Thigpen
Writing as Regena Bryant, Kathy’s Love’s Remnant was published by Willow Bend Books in September 2014. Kathy has been honored with an Orchid Award for excellence in the arts and entertainment field by the West Suburban Chicago Chapter of Top Ladies of Distinction.

Barb Valentin
Her first book in the Assignment: Romance series , False Start, was published by Gemma Halliday Publishing in October. It also received an Honorable Mention in the Illinois Women’s Press Association’s annual communications competition.

Ann Marie Walker
RT Magazine gave their highest rating to her and her writing partner, Amy K. Rogers, for their debut novel, Remind Me, in the Chasing Fire Series. The contemporary romance from Berkley is out this month.

Margaret Watson
To catch up: In The Donovan Family Series, Watch Me and Find Me came out in December 2013 and Love Me in January 2014. Trust Me came out in November 2014 and Cover Me will be out this month.

Paula White
For those of us who don’t know, Paula is a fifth-generation textile artist and has participated in several mixed media art installations. Her art quilt in honor of her late aunt will go up for auction, and the proceeds will be used to fight domestic violence. Check with Paula for information on display venues. An acquisitions editor at Simon & Schuster is interested in a book proposal about this as well.